The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Ah, yes, Gaia, the warm, loving earth mother who made a sickle so one of her sons could castrate another one of her sons, who also happened to be his brother and her husband. This, along with the fact that most of Gaia's offspring were monsters, hundred-handed giants and the like, makes hers a story more likely to go over well at a David Lynch film festival than a solstice retreat/drum circle. C-

Zeus became the head god by dint of not being eaten by his father. Consider that a sort of eighth habit of highly effective people: very few of those in positions of power and authority were devoured at birth. Zeus released his previously-swallowed siblings and defeated his, became ruler of the sky and land, and in turn devoured his first wife Metis for fear of being overthrown by his own children. A lot of this goes on in Greek mythology; it's like those Looney Tunes in which Sylvester swallows Tweety Bird and Tweety goes on to have a long conversation with whomever else Sylvester had eaten that day. C+

I was hoping to blow the lid off the perennial representation of Ares as a bloodthirsty jerk of a god, but a little research shows that, nope, he's a jerk. And a bloodthirsty one at that. If you want Ares to get his due, you have to skip over to the Romans, who loved this guy. They called him Mars and talked about how noble it was to get the smackdown in his name. But the Greeks, being more interested in olive oil and hypotenuses than world conquest, wanted little to do with him. Good for them. D+

Aphrodite was the god of love, desire, and if you watch Xena, peroxide. She arose from the sea after the severed genitals of Uranus were discarded there. I just want to point out that I'm not looking for the particularly gruesome bits from Greek mythology. You can't read two pages through a book of Greek myths without running into severed genitals, baby-eating, vomit, sex with animals, liver-extraction, and similar horrors. It's like Bullfinch meets Troma. Anyhow. Aphrodite had a magical girdle. Good for her. B-

I'm not going to go into how Dionysus was born. Suffice to say it fits right in with the other godly birth stories and involves Zeus' thigh. At any rate, Dionysus attracted a cult following of women who drank a lot and went into periodic fits of utter madness, which is pretty much what I'm trying to do with this Web page. It's too late for me to be raised by mountain nymphs as he was, but I do what I can with what I have. It was the feasts of Dionysus that inspired the early Greeks to invent theatre, so you could say that in a roundabout way Dionysus is responsible for the whole folderol surrounding "The Phantom Menace." Good for him. A

More by Lore Sjöberg Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage